A picture worth 1,000 words.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Aug 21, 2011
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We all want to be safe. We’re busy. We see something scary or confusing & go on our way.


Above: Protesting Apathy, via Imgur.

When my mom was young, she was mugged in plain sight in NYC. She was beautiful and naive and vulnerable and she screamed and screamed. No one came out to help her.

There’s a similar, infamous story about a woman getting murdered or raped under similar circumstances. My mom’s story had a happier ending…she pleaded, shouting to the crook “that’s all I have!,” and he actually paused as he ran away, stopped…dropped her purse, and kept running.

In a group or mob situation, we often act—or don’t act—when, alone, we would have refrained from violence or interceded.

Trungpa Rinpoche had an expression: take 12 intelligent people, put them around a table, and they all get dumb. I find board meetings or staff conferences often trend this way: the sum is often less than the parts.

So next time you or I see something wrong—whether it’s online or in real, good ol’fashioned life—jump in. Do so with strength and gentleness. Find out how to help.

In a world full of tragedies, we must stay awake to the plight of others. For in so doing, we stay alive within ourselves.






About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


3 Responses to “A picture worth 1,000 words.”

  1. Lezlee says:

    Well said! We are so consumed by fear, it paralyses us.

  2. Angel says:

    This world has gotten so cynical and selfish. Hopefully any one that reads this, will engrave these words in their minds and act accordingly when some one needs help or they see some one doing wrong.

  3. Kind of ironic that this post has so few comments… I hope that we can all begin to see the problem of even one other human being oppressed a problem for all. So many straight people see gay marriage/homophobia as "Not their problem." Westerners look at problems in the East and think it's too far away, too different, too strange — "Not my problem." But the thing is, wherever there is hatred, cruelty, oppression, war — it is a human problem. It is everyone's problem. My tonglen this evening will be for the little girl in the picture.